King Arthur and His Mob
A float of femininity, Bangles Carson rides the white upright
on a violin-shaped barge pulled by two little men in bellboy uniforms.
Her odalisque back drips off the edge of the piano,
light twinkles and bubbles, and the jazz pours inside us
The hoi polloi smile indulgently,
worships her up close, crabbing her act. Her float is wisdom.
my father called my mother unfit, and it was like casting a spell.
mouthing words, gesturing with her hands for help. Bangles
a storm of feathers, an organdy collar off of a Pierrot costume.
Sir Sorry buys a better home for Shirley Temple. Passed around
thrown from a horse at a party, she finds safety in the underworld.
Who knows how many lives she swam through on the other side.
you’ve got a bed. You’ll grow up to find it all a racket.
© James Cihlar, 2012